The essence of dance.
Gulabu, the great dancer, Pushkar camel fair, India
I was astonished when I first saw Gulabu dance. A tiny figure, she filled the open stage with vibrancy. I have seen a lot of dance performances, ethnic, contemporary and classical and have never been so captivated as by this woman from the Rajasthan desert. She is the very essence of dance, where performer, performance and audience merge in rare artistic synthesis.
Gulabu is from the snake-charmer caste, professional entertainers. 'Discovered' dancing in the sands for the locals she was already a local celebrity, now her abilities are more widely known. At Pushkar during the fair she dances each night for the visitors. Don't miss it!
One night, after an absence of two years, my wife and I saw her dance and were disappointed. It was a flat, rather lifeless performance that seemed without explanation. The next evening she was once again her magical self and at the conclusion it was announced that she had given birth to her first baby the week before. I guess she just needed that one extra day to recover!
I hope at times that she still strays into the sands to dance amongst the camels and her own people.
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revision 18 Mar 2001